Recent blog posts

Josh Kurtz: The Ficker Finger of Fate

Whatever happened to the Good Old Days in Montgomery County, when Robin Ficker, consistently, was Public Enemy No. 1? Year after year, Ficker, the gadfly extraordinaire, the chronic candidate who lucked into a seat in the House of Delegates from 1979 to 1982 and has been trying to claw his way back to respectability ever since, has won the enmity of the Montgomery County political establishment by doing the things that gadflies do.  Specifically, Ficker would advance a ballot question – usually to lower or limit taxes or to impose term limits on county officials – and watch with glee as the establishment scurried to defeat him. Predictably, there would be a unity news conference – or a series of them – featuring Democrats and Republicans, business and labor and civic leaders and environmentalists, coming together to say why Ficker’s prescription (or sometimes just Ficker himself) was plain wrong, a threat... Continue reading
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Featured Content | Towson University Taps Margrave Strategies' Ulman to Advance Placemaking Strategies

Towson University President Kim Schatzel announced on Sept. 27 that Margrave Strategies president Ken Ulman will help the university map future growth strategies. Schatzel made her announcement on the steps of the Old Courthouse building in downtown Towson along with Ulman and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.... Continue reading
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Center Maryland Op-Doc: Columbia, MD Named Money Magazine’s Best Place to Live in 2016

Columbia was just named Money Magazine's #1 Best Place to Live. Howard County residents discuss their hopes to remain on top for the future.... Continue reading
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Featured Content: The Formation of a Strategic National Security Partnership between UMCP & UMB

University of Maryland, College Park President Wallace Loh and University of Maryland, Baltimore President Jay Perman announced the intention to create the Maryland Academy for Innovation in National Security that would support an FBI headquarters in Greenbelt, Maryland. Local leaders put forth a vision for a strategic national security partnership that will harmonize UMB and UMCP’s relevant capabilities in terrorism and counterterrorism studies, intelligence analysis, cybersecurity and high performance computing, criminology and criminal justice, homeland security law, and crisis management. ... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: John Sarbanes’ Crusade for Campaign Finance Reform

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has, quite properly, won plaudits for his push to reform the way congressional and legislative district lines are drawn in Maryland. But Hogan so thoroughly dominates the political headlines in the state, it’s easy to forget that another prominent Maryland politician has an equally worthy reform agenda: That’s Democratic Rep. John Sarbanes’ legislation to create a public financing system for congressional elections. As he marshals arguments for his bill, The Government By the People Act, Sarbanes likes to cite a quote generally attributed to James Madison: “Government should be dependent on the people alone.” So to limit the influence of Big Money on elections and the American political discourse, Sarbanes envisions creating a public financing system that provides a pool of money (the Freedom From Influence Fund) for congressional contenders. Candidates who raise contributions in increments of $150 or less would be eligible for a 6-1 match... Continue reading
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